November 07, 2011

Refashionista - Delia from Delia Creates

Welcome to Day 3 of Refashionista.  Today our guest is Delia of Delia Creates.  I adore Delia.  Her blog feels like entering a comfortable, warm home.  It's full of beautiful ideas, gorgeous pictures, and she has two adorable boys!  (She's also got a little girl on the way.)  If you haven't been to her blog before you need to check it out.  She's awesome.  



Hi I Am Momma readers! I am thrilled to be here today.
Cheri's blog is full of wonderful creative inspiration for crafting, for motherhood, and for life. So I'm pretty honored to be her guest today!


I love re-purposing projects, because you get to take something useless to you and make it useful again...or maybe even something you love. :)

Such is the case with some too tight, too short sweaters I had, that I converted to cardigans. 

I know, I know...this has been done before - a lot, but this is my version of a:



With most cardigans you have buttons that line the length of it so you could technically wear it as a blouse if needed.

With these cardigans, because they are starting out as too tight and too short sweaters, there are only two to three buttons that clasp the cardigan partially closed. This is how I wear most of my cardigans anyway...so it works!

This idea is really simple, but I provide some tips and detailed methods to help you achieve a durable, beautiful outcome.

Materials:

You just need two strips of matching or complimentary fabric, about 2 inches wide and at least 2 inches longer than the length of your sweater down the middle. A cute fat quarter will work for many sweater lengths and gives you plenty of fabric. If you want your cardigan to clasp close you will also need some buttons, or toggles and some elastic.

Matching thread looks best...but as you'll see I didn't for two of my cardigans. You use so little thread with this project...and I'm cheap. :)

Let's begin.

1. MAKE SURE you pre-wash your fabric. This is an absolutely must. If you skip this step, the fabric will shrink, and pucker and pull on the sweater in unattractive ways when you wash it.

2. Measure and cut your fabric strips. Two inches wide and at least two inches longer than the length of your sweater down the middle. 

3. Cut your sweater down the middle. I made some faint marks with a ruler and pencil to make sure I cut it nice and straight. *Be careful not to stretch your sweater as you measure and cut.

4. Iron one long side of your fabric strips under about 1/4 of an inch.

5. Pin and sew the fabric strips to the cut portion of your sweater. You want right sides together. The side with the fabric ironed over is the wrong side. Don't skip the pinning. Sweaters often stretch and pull. Pinning will help you keep everything even and where it should be. 

Also, I highly recommend you increase your stitch length a bit since you are working with sweater knit. It will pull on the fabric less, create more even stitches with no skipping...just a good idea. You probably should also use a ball point needle made for knits...but I didn't. I just used a universal needle with an increased stitch length.

6. Flip the fabric strip over and fold under each side of the sweater/cardigan. Fold the top and bottom portions under as well. Pin {don't skip this} and sew. You can sew near the inside seam, or not. I didn't for this one, but did for others.


7. Last step! :) You can just leave it as is, or add buttons. Remember what I said about increasing your stitch length? Well...I should have done it with my button holer too. I didn't with this yellow cardigan and the button holer kept breaking my thread, stretching my fabric and ended up giving me less than desirable results.


I increased my stitch length as much as I could with this purple cardigan and achieved MUCH better results. This is also a thick knit shirt, instead of a sweater knit, so that might have helped too. 



Don't know how to use a button holer? This tutorial from MADE or this one from Grosgrain can help you. I learned from the Grosgrain one because I have a Brother sewing machine like Kathleen.

For this tan cardigan I put in toggles. I just picked up some toggles in the buttons/notions aisle at Jo-Ann and snagged some tan ponytail holders from Walmart. For my sweater I only needed two ponytail elastics, half of one elastic for each loop.

At step 5, just sandwich the elastic in between the fabric strip and sweater and sew it in. Make sure to go back and forth over it a few times to strengthen the seam where the toggles are.  It can be fussy to get the elastic sewn in initially, but with a little patience it turns out quite nicely. 

I also top stitched over the inside seam when I was done, to strengthen the seam and toggles even more.

And now, I have three cardigans I love...


...instead of of three sweaters/shirts I was going to give away.
 

Bonus...I don't have to worry about them fitting over my ever growing belly either. :)

P.S. If you're wondering how these wash. I just washed mine and they did great. Just remember to follow original washing instructions for the sweater you re-fashioned. Depending on what fabric you choose to line the inside with, you might need to re-press it after each wash. I used cotton and I didn't have to do any pressing.

Thanks for having me over Cheri!

Happy Re-fashioning!

Thank you SO much for such a clever, practical idea.  I'm sure we all have a few shirts or sweaters that could use this tutorial.  You can leave a comment for Delia here or visit her blog HERE.  Thanks for reading.


54 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea! I wonder if I could resize some larger sweaters and use the same method? I think I might have to try that today!

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  2. Cute!! What a smarty pants!!

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  3. So cute! I love the last cardigan with toggles and patterned fabric. I think I still have a sweater that can get new life.

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  4. This is GREAT idea!! I just went back into my trash bag that I was planning to sent to Goodwill. Took out my sweater that its shrink ( I like to said it shrink but I really gain some weight :( )
    I am planning on making this. THANK YOU!!

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  5. I am so incredibly excited about this. I was just going through my sweaters, and feeling really sad they would never fit me anymore due to having babies, this is a life saver THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

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  6. What a perfect idea! She's so beautiful!

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  7. I love all of these, especially the contrasting trim on the inside! I love unexpected touches like that.

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  8. These cardigan conversions were done so well! I'm thinking this would be a great idea for toddler clothing too. Great work!

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  9. Great tute Delia. I love all your pictures your are gorgeous.

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  10. Great job! I LOVE the yellow cardigan over the blue dress. Absolutely stunning. So is the picture of Delia looking out the window. Pretty lady!

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  11. I love these, Delia! So cute and you are beautiful, as always. Love your cute belly:).

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  12. this is so great! delia is amazing. I'm definitely going to have to try it out one of these days, I seem to always have a pile of things that are too small, etc.

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  13. Thank you so much for inviting me to be apart of the series Cheri. :)

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  14. I might actually be able to this!! It might come in handy since I am pregnant & most of my clothes don't fit...lol

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  15. Love the "new" cardigans! I think I need to raid my sweaters and see what I can repurpose too...they all are lovely!

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  16. They came out so amazing!! Perfect for this season. I'll have to try it.

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  17. Great idea...I'm not a seamstress...hmm buttonholes? I'll have to practice that one...

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  18. delia, these are FABULOUS! great idea! I have tons of sweaters that I could make into cardigans!!! :)

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  19. I love all of these! I totally have sweaters I can do this to. Maybe if I hurry I can get some done before I birth this baby. But then I only have, like, one pair of pants to wear anything cute with. Do cute cardis work with stained, over-stretched yoga pants?

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  20. So lovely. I'm excited to try these. Thank you for sharing.

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  21. That's so clever! I'm not pregnant (at all!) but I am very tall, so many shirts and cardys don't fit me properly. Glad to know I can reuse them in some way after a terrible mis-buy!
    Esther.

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  22. These are really cute. I am a big fan of re-purposing. Looks like a great way to stretch a wardrobe for expecting moms.

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  23. Fabulous!! I LOVE this idea!! Thanks SO much for sharing your technique!!

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  24. Are you a genius or what? Thanks for giving an option for those of us who are button-hole-challenged. I REALLY like the mustard sweater version -maybe because that is my favorite color.... Congrats too!! I didn't know about your soon-to-be-here baby. :)

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  25. I just went back and re-read the tutorial -pretending that I am going to make one RIGHT NOW instead of folding laundry... Anyway -I saw your link to buton-hole school. Thanks!!! This will help so much. :)

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  26. This is AWESOME! I have several sweaters I've been wanting to do this to but wasn't quite sure how to go about it. Thank you so much!

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  27. This is absolutely fantastic and makes me cry for all the sweaters I've ever given away!

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  28. I love it. I already remade a sweatshirt and a wool sweater into cardigans. What a great way to give new life to something that never gets worn. Thanks!

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  29. Thank you so much for sharing this! I've done it this morning and I was so delighted and proud. For once, I didn't donate my old clothes, I reused them! Thanks Delia and thank you Cheri for ths wonderful blog.
    Have a good day

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  30. Thanks so much for the tutorial, Cheri and Delia! I made one this weekend!

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  31. This is super cute!!
    I definitely want to try it. :)
    http://munchtalk.blogspot.com/

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  32. I just did this with one of my sweaters. It was so easy! I did it with a minor change though, I had some pretty lace that I used instead of fabric so I stitched wrong side of sweater to right side of lace and turned the lace to the outside of the sweater and stitched it down, it turned our really well.

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  33. I love this! I have a sweater that my husband loves on me, but it was already fitting kinda snug before I got pregnant. Now that I've had my baby, the sweater is way too small. I'm going to do this right now!

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  34. sweater successfully converted! My boyfriend got a sweater for xmas that I loved and he didn't...Now I have a sweet little cardigan. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!!

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  35. HI, I just want you to know that I found this project on Pinterest and after a very trying day I decided to "relax" and change an old v-neck into a cute cardigan. I posted the pic on my facebook for my blog....I know this will sound silly but THANK YOU for sharing...It helped my day :)

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  36. ooops I should have told you that my page is Isabelle at home :) thank you again!

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  37. Cute idea! I love that it shows off your baby bump!

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  38. I used to do this a lot with sweatshirts. I'm ready to do it again with a differently shaped body (ha!) that doesn't like ribbed knit at the hips!

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  39. cute cute cute!!!!

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  40. Thank you sooo much for the GREAT idea. I am in the POST BABY, baby belly stage and I think this will be very complimentary!! Especially since last winter I was pregnant, and the sweaters from the winter before that... of course DONT fit!! THANKKKKKKKKS!

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  41. Great tutorial! I LOVE cardigans and I have a purple sweater I got from the GAP years ago... love the colour but not very happy with the fit. It would make a great cardi though!! I think I know what I am doing this weekend!!

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  42. Wonderful! Thank you!

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  43. One thing that can help with the button holes:
    When you are deciding whether to place them horizontaly or vertically keep in mind the direction of the stretch. The stretch will usually go around your body. If you sew the button holes horizontal the stretch will pull and distort the hole. If this is the case you will want to make your button holes vertical, if the button holes are sewn vertically there willbe less distortion and you will be happier with the result.

    (Ijust made this mistake on a Christmas gift I made and this was the advise i was given by one of my college professors on how to fix the problem)

    Hope that helps, happy sewing!

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  44. One thing that can help with the button holes:
    When you are deciding whether to place them horizontaly or vertically keep in mind the direction of the stretch. The stretch will usually go around your body. If you sew the button holes horizontal the stretch will pull and distort the hole. If this is the case you will want to make your button holes vertical, if the button holes are sewn vertically there willbe less distortion and you will be happier with the result.

    (Ijust made this mistake on a Christmas gift I made and this was the advise i was given by one of my college professors on how to fix the problem)

    Hope that helps, happy sewing!

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  45. I am so impressed with your ideas. I have sewn for 50 years and have never done anything so nicely as these. I wish all young women would follow your example. Love your blog.

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  46. Just made two cardigans in about one hour! and now I'm forwarding the tutorial to my mom! Thanks so much! You rock!

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  47. Now I'm REALLY regretting giving all of my old sweaters to the homeless. Well, maybe not really regretting it but several of them would have made darling cardigans! I'll remember this Pinterest!

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